The slogan “Black Lives Matter”, which is actually derived from the name of an international organisation standing against violence and systemic racism, has overtaken the internet and dominated the news highlights. Thousands of sympathisers flood the streets demonstrating to show their solidarity, leaders of the parliaments raise their voices to express their political leaning while top celebrities step in to pay their respects to those who are fighting the battle for equality at the front-line. From the realm of the Fashion Industry, fashion brands are running social media activation to champion this movement and even organising fundraising campaigns to financially support non-profit organisations that operate to eradicate inequality and racism.
Indeed, inequality and racism have been a chronic illness that is gradually damaging the fabric of our society. Nevertheless, the over-flowing support that Black Lives Matter campaign receives also demonstrates the beauty of humanity and how strong the effect a group of like-minded people can create together.
The positive response from the Fashion Industry also reminds us how far we can stretch our grasp of responsible consumption. Since the early age of human civilisation, society and fashion are inseparable bedfellows wherein fashion serves the function as a means to display social status, political leaning and someone’s personality. However, as society progresses, the spectrum of fashion as a means to win recognition has also shifted. In these days, us humans, are more aware of the negative effect of consumerism and approach our needs for fashion in a more conscious way. We start buying products that don’t only make ourselves feel good but also make the environment and other people happy. Nowadays, eradicating poverty is no longer a one-man task but rather a collective effort that stems from one visionary individual to a whole group of an international community.
Furthermore, today’s brands are more authentic. They are established not only to offer more options to our wardrobes but also to champion a cause that matters - through the way they manufacture their products or the way they utilise their profits. It is easier nowadays to know where the money we put on a dress goes to or see the face of the artisan that made the shoes we buy. When we purchase a piece of an eco-friendly scarf, we acknowledge the fact that we join-force a movement to save the Earth from deforestation. In other words, consumers are given the platform to channel their calls, be it curbing global warming, reducing plastic pollution or alleviating hunger and famine through responsible consumption.
As we can see from the Black Lives Matters campaign, fashion brands are galvanising their customers to “donate’ their money on purposed products. And that’s because the profit made from the sales will be used to fund the fight in abolishing the systemic racism and inequality. That said, the next time we are planning to treat ourselves with a new fashion item, make sure that we shop for a cause.
The 1 People’s Team